First female cadets graduate from academy

May 16, 2008 3:16:19 PM PDT
It's a proud day for the first class of female cadets graduating from the Valley Forge Military Academy.There are 57 graduates in the Valley Forge Military College class of 2008. This 72nd graduating class breaks tradition with the college's first women graduates.

"It's been difficult, but we've made it and I'm happy. I'm proud to be graduating," graduate Tanika Edge said.

Seven women graduated today.

They changed the gender landscape of Pennsylvania's official military college, the nations last all male holdout.

Feltonville twins, Minh and Thanh Truong are among those who successfully took on the challenge.

"It is easy to quit. I'm not going to lie, I tried to quit twice. It's hard some time," graduate Minh Truong said.

Lauren Perry is one of two female grads commissioned as army reserve officers.

"I wish all women could have this experience because it's so empowering," Lt. Lauren Perry said.

Lt. Perry received her first official salute from her stepdad, a Vietnam era Marine.

"She's not only taller than me, but I now have to call her ma'am. She's very special. I know she's going to be a great leader," Lt. Perry's stepfather said.

They're all college bound.

Thahn Truong believes being a woman in what had been a man's world, helped prepare her for a career in medicine. She plans to become a surgeon.

No matter their pursuits, all say their experience has primed them for what lies ahead.